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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #1
staminous
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Impressions of Darwin

Hey guys,


i finally got to see this city in the flesh and i thought i might share a few words. I'm at home here in Melbourne after having spent a great week holidaying in and around Darwin.


First Impression:

"Wow this plane to Darwin is packed!" i seemed to naively think that virgin would have trouble filling up a direct melbourne-darwin plane. every seat was booked, ..i start with this first impression because it kind of says it all, when it comes to Darwin -- we in the south really have no idea!!

When i arrived at the Airport, i was shocked at all the people. There were thousands of people moving in all directions, on the tarmac there were three jumbo 747s one from Singapore Airlines, Qantas and an Air France, then there were about three other 737s. Tiger Airlines, Virgin, Jetstar and Qantas.
Then there was a virtual Kmart carpark full of state-of-the-art Government and Private Charter jets, atleast 15 of them.

It was at this entry at the Darwin International Airport that i realised i was in for an education. This was NOT Cairns, Hobart, Coolangatta or even Adelaide airport...this airport was far bigger, busier. It felt well ..er "more important" geographically central to every thing connecting Australia with Asia and India ..this was Darwin!!
4.5 hours from Sydney, 4.5 hours from Singapore. 4.25 hours from Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, 3 hours from Jakata and 2 hours from Bali, Cairns and Alice, and if you only have 50 minutes ...Dili, East Timor.

And heres a surprise ...planes flying between Brisbane,Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide for Asia or Europe all converge and fly along a designated 'air corridor' up though central Australia to Darwin then leave Australian air space via Darwin airport control ..even if they're not landing in Darwin, they still fly over head. The Darwin airport control is the nations northern doorway.

Then add Australia's biggest Air Force base, ...and u realise that when it comes to aviation, this town makes melbourne's tullamarine look almost "isolated".

I stayed at the fabulous Darwin Airport Resort.

Once again, a real pleasant surprise. It was very stylish, tropically landsacped with a huge lagoon style pool, a 24hr open air reception, restaurant and packed poolside bar. Literally ..tropical paradise. And all only a pleasant five minute walk from Gate 2.

First night ...Darwin had won me.

Last edited by staminous; September 24th, 2006 at 02:29 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #2
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TOTALLY AGREE!!!!! I think Darwin is the best kept secret in the country and I cant wait to get back there in just over 3 weeks. Its a surprisingly cosmopolitan feel about the place, but with that Tropical Relaxed attitude, almost an asian feel about it apart from the fact that its the most AUSSIE place Ive been.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #3
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sorry guys ..i just wrote heeps more on Darwin ...but i'm sitting here in the bloody pre-pay internet cafe in Adelaide ...and just before i got to submit, i got timed out and cut off.

and i'm too pissed off to write every thing all over again today.



but in general.

Evolution and Pandanus are now up to about level three. Outrigger has pulled out of the management rights to the hotel, instead it will now managed by Mantra. I spent considerable time speaking to the sales lady at Pandanus.
Basically there's only three two bedroom apartments left. So who's buying them. basically wealthy business people usually associated with the state's booming mining industries. ( $$$$$$)



Having said that, the Asension project on the Esplanade, has just recieved, "Special Merit Aproval" from both the Darwin City Council and the Territory Development Consent Authority. Consiting of two twin towers, their height has been extended to 27 STORIES !!

The developer of Evolution, Sunbuild, now wants to take the Darwin City Council to court, because they had propsed to build a 15 story tower on the Esplanande but got knocked back due to height restrictions on the strip. Now they are building a 9 story tower there in stead, but seeking to go higher on the grounds of Asension's approval.


Speaking on ABC talk back radio, the Minister who approved the 27 story twin towers said, this development gained council approval and 'special merit' from the nt state government because, it was offering to build a huge car park that will assist with the downtown area's car park shortage, and also because the development features 'extensive streetscaping and landscaping includung sidewalk restaurants' in a failry rundown and underdeveloped part of the esplanade.


The 9 story Lameroo project is now nearing completion.


Back one street. In the restaurant precinct of Mitchell Street, a 25 story apartment tower and a 6 six story 5 star hotel is seeking approval from council. You can also read about this in last weeks NT NEwspaper and council website. It's located at the conor of Mitchell Street and Mott Court.


Of course, the BIGGEST news in Darwin in terms of real estate is the Massively successful Wharf One apartment project, being built down at the new Waterfront.


Its a very long 12 story building, located right at the tip of the pier near the new wave pool and convention centre. 121 apartments were SOLD in only 3 DAYS!! This set a new Territory record, only 17 apartments remain. To be built in three stages, eventually the wharf project will house over 1,500
apartments.


Due to the record sales, developer, "Tolga" is now rushing to bring forward "Wharf Two" as soon as possible, as a number of buyers who missed out on Wharf One have 'pre-purchased' their apartment in the second tower.

This area known as Darwin Cove is huge. It's every bit as big as Brisbane's Southbank, and when you consider the swimming lagoon alone is equivelent to 400 olympic sized pools!!! ( the 8 apartment blocks are designed to jut out from the land and into the lagoon. wharf one was to be the first of these.)

nearby Arkaba the two 10 story towers is also very much under construction.

But, by far the MOST CONTROVERSIAL development at the moment is of course the sale of Little Mindil Beach.


Basically, located right on the beachfront, next door to sky city casino, the NT government, spear headed by Clare Martin is wanting to sell of the formerly Crown land to one of three companies vying to get their proposal built.

Sitting right next door to the city's most exclusive address, Cullen Bay and the stylish Sky City hotel ..three companies have their own development plans before the NT Development Authority.

All three plans are for a 4 -5 star "tropical family resort" as requested by the government.



Darwin defies numbers. It is a city of only 112, 000. But it looks, feels and functions like a major capital city.


Two weeks ago, i was in Canberra. Although Dawrin is only a third of the population, downtown Darwin feels like you're in a bigger city.

It's downtown is modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan. It's surprisingly very 'dense'. And puts Canberra's rundown civic to absolute shame.


Then when you think about the jaw-dropping port facilities now re-located in a HUGE purpose built port 6 kms south on Darwin Harbour, you see that Darwin is Australia's Dubai.

There are massive petroleum tanks, refineries and power stations and exceptionally impressive rail / dock / cargo hub. All absolutely brand spanking new.

Cairns and Townsville ---- sorry, you are not at all in the same league.

DARWIN defies anything i have ever seen in Australia.


BUILD AND THEY WILL COME


Darwin is doing things BIG. and it is all because of one lady. CLAIRE MARTIN.

She and her Government would have the nation's best. Dawrin oozzes, a CAN DO attitude. Claire is is possibly Australia's smartest politician in my opinion.

She is behind all of this building frenzy. She knows who has the money in Asia, and she goes out and gets it!!! She liases with these rich South-East Asian billionaires, and brings them to the Territory schmoozzes them, charms them, and then asks them to hand over the $$$$$millions ..or should i say $$$billions.


She is on the radio, she is on the television, defending all her developments ...her name is stamped on Everything. Darwin Wharf, Asension, Evolution etc. ...you name it. She is a dynamo.


And on the topic of aboriginies, she is very 'straight talking' and knows what shes talking about. Sorry, strayed.


I just want to say, what is so striking about all of these developments is, not just their sheer scale ( a scale that Cairns, Townsville, Canberra and Adelaide can only dream about) is that every single one is "top notch" state-of-the-art. They are all "high end". Wonderful architecture, quality materials.

And now i am in Adelaide. I love Adelaide, but when i think of whats happening to the north 4,000kms away, i just get so sad. If only the South Australian Government was as pro-active as the NT Government.

I guess one thing is, the NT is basically a one town state.


Darwin feels very prosporous. It's got the most exciting feel about it.
..and when you consider that, Darwin has the BEST BEACHES of any Australian city i have ever seen,


...i am hooked. Darwin, I feel I strongly that I could live very happily there.


Give Darwin another 10 years ..and my prediction is that Darwin will be Australia's 'hottest, funkiest city'.

a stunningly beautiful city, and a great modern lifestyle.

P.S. The mayor is from Brisbane. He wants to build a mass transit train system from the city to the airpory and palmerston.

P.P.S. Palmerston city , population 30, 000. One of Australia's fastest cities, as equally as impressive as darwin itself.

But i will tell you about Palmerston another time. Palmerston is hot too.

Last edited by staminous; September 27th, 2006 at 08:13 AM.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #4
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Darwin sounds pretty cool, I must visit there in 5-10 years.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:08 AM   #5
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I don't know why Singapore Airlines & Air France had 747's in Darwin, i'm sure neither of them even have services into there. Air France doesn't even have any services into Australia at all.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #6
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When I flew to Darwin a couple of months ago my Qantas flight was code shared with Air France, maybe this is what was happening!!
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Old October 4th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #7
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I believe regular Air Frane 747s stop in Darwin enroute to French Polynesia from Europe. There also may be some code sharing aswell.

It's important to remember, Darwin is a major fuel stop for international airlines.
Not only is Singarpore Airlines flying daily into Darwin, but also Singapore's budget carrier Tiger Airlines flies daily to the city. Competition between Qantas, Singapore and Tiger, betwen Darwin and Asia is intense.

My resort was full of independent Singaporean families exploring Kakadu, Litchfield and Broome.

Think about it, Darwin is the perfect 'getaway' for Asians escaping the rat-race. They want somewhere, ruggered, close and safe, not to mention romantic. The Territory is that.

And if they can even puchase their own regular 'getaway' apartment in Darwin ..bonus.


Darwin is Australia's only Asian city. It's fully connected. Darwin looks north to Asia. The place has a fundamentally different psychological outlook. It's history is Asian, Indigenous and then European, it's cultural heritage is Asian, indigenous and European. Consequently, a very large part of its population is Asian.

The Chinese have been coming to the northern coastline for centuries. When Darwin was created later in the 19th century many Chinese migrants settled there early. Infact, in the very ealry years pre-world war II, the Chinese population outnumbered the European population. (the same for Broome too.) They mainly worked in the pearling industry or in trade and commerce. Many hundred of Darwin's Chinese community died in the World War Two bombing of Darwin in 1945. 1,500 people altogether perished.

Everywhere are historic "Chinese" shops, houses, shrines, cemetaries and Chinese World War II memorials. The coastline is dotted with rocks with old chinese writing on them.

Out of 112, 000 citizens in modern day Darwin, atleast 20,000 would be "Eurasian". Half Asian and half Aussie looking ..with totally Aussie accents. They are third and foutrth generation Aussies.

There are about a further 10,000 Asian migrants living there. Many from Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. They mainly work very hard and u will find them in about every shop and restaurant.

And there is also a significant and growing Portuguese community.

About 10,000 are aboriginal and the rest European. Of which 4,000 are Greek, employed mainly in construction. Basically all of Darwins construction and property development companies are Greek.

Asia accepts Darwin as an Asian city. It all just kind of feels natural when you are up there.

The biggest annual event in Darwin is the "Arafura Games".

This is when several thousand athletes and tourists from surrounding Asian countries come to the city for a huge sporting/cultural festival. Signs all over the Airport and along the highways say, Welcome to Darwin: Asia's Gateway to Australia.

Darwin is where Asian, Indigenous and European culture converge as equals. Its a very exotic blend.


But hey, ..i grew up in Victoria where they still teach that Captain Cook 'discovered' Australia. There is never any mention of the Dutch chartered and named geography of the entire coastline of Western Australia in the 1600s, or the French chartered and named geography of South Australia.

So it's harldy likely Australia's Anglophiled education system teaches about Asian past, present and future involvement in the Top End.

Last edited by staminous; October 4th, 2006 at 10:18 AM.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 08:35 PM   #8
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Just back from Darwin again, and love it even more than before. I had time this time to have a bit of a drive around and look at some of the newer developments and stumbled across some of the biggest houses I have ever seen.

Cullen Bay was really nice, possibly a little exclusive for my liking as a place to live, but very nice all the same. Think Marina Mirage meets Hope Island.

The city has a reasonable amount of development going on, most of it is looking good although there are two big multi story carparks that have been built on Smith St but I didnt ever get the feeling that the city was short of that many car parks, does anyone know if the new china town behind these carparks is going to continue through between the carparks creating a mall from Mitchell to Smith St?

Naturally, there are still heaps of development sites in and around the CBD, and I couldnt help noticing that the old Woolworths at the end of Smith St is empty and looks like a huge site ripe for redevelopment, same can be said for the just sold Centrelink building on Knuckey St.

Anyway, Darwin is a fantastic city, very unique and with a style all of its own with fantastic food, arts, tourism and friendly people. It is a must visit, although I would suggest waiting now till after the wet season.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 09:49 AM   #9
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Hey Staminous, glad you enjoyed your time in my city. Your impressions were pretty accurate - Darwin does have a bright future, the only real barrier is people (or rather lack of people). Most business up here would be keen to expand more quickly but a lot of projects are being put on hold because there is simply no one to build them. Darwin used to rely on contractors from interstate working up here during their quiet times, but with the whole country booming there are fewer and fewer people interested in making the trek up north.

In anycase, if you, or anyone else for that matter, is interested in what the government intends for Darwin over the next 5 - 10 years, go to

http://www.futuredarwin.nt.gov.au

The NT Government's really thinking big - if these projects come off Darwin will enter a whole new league.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #10
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I'd like to head up that way for a look one day, sounds really nice. I don't think i'd want to live there because of the humidity, Townsville is bad enough.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #11
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has darwin got any good roads like dual carridge ways.etc.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #12
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in reply to timmy- brissy has darwin got any good roads like dual carridge ways.etc.

Good question... I believe it is a reasonably alright city for road capacity.


Most suburban roads in the northern suburbs are four or six lanes wide with median strips in the centre.

When i visited in 2001, Darwin had:

Bagot Road: 6 lanes with median strip and several pedestrian overpasses; vehicular overpasses at Stuart Hwy for an on and off ramp.
McMillians Road from Bagot to Vanderline Road also mostly 6 lanes wide
Vanderline Road 4 lanes, with much of it also mostly 6 lanes wide
Trower Road also 6 lanes with median strip also pedestrian overpasses;
Rothdale Road 6 lanes mostly then 4 lanes in parts
Bradshaw Terrace in Casuarina 4 lanes with median strip

many other main roads also 4 lanes wide, especially those in and around major shopping centres.

Tiger Brennan I think is like a mini motorway, although its mostly a single lane in either direction as i remember it. there is a set of slip on and off lanes connection to an overpass at Hidden Valley, and further bypass lanes to join and smoothly blend in traffic at Berrimah Road rather than end it at an intersection for exiting traffic. There are also three or four more overpasses planned at major intersections. This road is planned to run through to Palmerston and be duplicated to four lanes.

Tiger Brennan is a back road into the city of Darwin from Palmerston. With Wishart Road going through currently to Palmerston.

I noticed Darwin has an 8 lane stretch of highway around the intersection of Bagot Road. However this is only for about half a km or so, with this intersection being just as wide as the one in Sunnybank in Brisbane (crossing of Muculloch Street/Padstow & Main Streets. Most of the highway into Darwin from Palmerston is 6 lanes wide and it narrows down to 4 lanes the closer it passes to Palmerston. There is a bypass which goes away from Palmerston but now is sort of on the edge of Palmerston as the satellite city has seemed to grow out that way.

The Stuart highway i think was 4 lanes from Palmerston as far out to the intersection and a short distance of 200m along Arnhem Hwy (which is about 35kms from the Darwin city). Most older main roads through Palmerston also are 4 lanes with median strip access.

Last edited by BNE QLD; September 9th, 2007 at 06:20 PM. Reason: adding more info
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Old September 10th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #13
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yep, i really want to come to Darwin. as soon as i can transit there from Japan and land in Melbourne to visit the folks, i am there. surely i can do that soon... Tiger?... Jetstar... anyone... ? please!
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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by south View Post
yep, i really want to come to Darwin. as soon as i can transit there from Japan and land in Melbourne to visit the folks, i am there. surely i can do that soon... Tiger?... Jetstar... anyone... ? please!
Yeah all the airlines you've mentioned fly into Darwin, so does Qantas. I've never been on Tiger yet, so I'd have no idea what to say. I'd say Virgin Blue is good if you want to arrive at midnite if you want a rock bottom cheapie flight, but if you want to get a meal that you don't have to pay extra, I'd go Qantas. Best to shop around to see what flight u like best to suit you though.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #15
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I'm currently working as Administrator for the National Youth Choir of Australia. At the start of the year I proposed that the choir tour to the Northern Territory in 2008 for the first time in 15 years. The board accepted it and I'm currently in the middle of planning a tour with concerts at Supreme Court, St. Mary's Cathedral, Mindil Beach, Alice Springs, Katherine and Yulara. Of course the real reason I proposed Darwin is because I'm desperate to get up their myself, it's such a wonderful city!
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Old March 21st, 2008, 02:43 AM   #16
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I just wish to correct some misconceptions in earlier posts in this thread.

Darwin was bombed twice on the 19th of February 1942. It was the same aircraft carrier force that had bombed Pearl Harbour in Hawaii two and a half months earlier. They dropped more bombs than on Pearl Harbour. Many ships and much of the town infrastructure was destroyed. The official death toll was 242 but the Royal Commission established to investigate the bombing only counted "whole" bodies. Some of those ships were American; one lost some 91 US sailors. The site of the USS Peary is a United States war grave and every year the Yanks turn up to remember. The ship famously went down with its guns blazing.

Darwin was bombed another 62 times over the next two years.

The Chinese did outnumber the Europeans before WW2 and suffered proportional losses. Much of the non-essential population was in the process of being evacuated at the time of the first bombings because Singapore had fallen to the Japanese on 16th of February 1942, three days before.

The Greek population is more than 10,000 and not all developers are Greek. The prominent Greek developers are Paspaley (Pearls), Paspalis (same family, long story), Halikos, Halkitis, Mitaros, Liveris, Athanasiou, Tsirbas and Tomazos families and many others.

Some developers are Italian like the Randazzo, Maddalozzo, Finocchiaro, Scaturchio, Matarazzo, Vicentin and Morandini families of Darwin. These are big and long term property owners and developers who have been in the city for over 50 years.

The Chinese origin Chin families are major property owners from pre-WW2 times.

Even Lynn, the Pandanas developer has a long development history in Darwin.

Darwin once hosted many airlines and was an important hub but it is no longer serviced by many airlines apart from Qantas, and the cheap and nasty Virginblue, Jetstar and Tiger.

Darwin was the very first landing place of the Concord in Australia. RAAF Base Darwin main runway is the only southern hemisphere runway certified by NASA as an emergency strip for the Space Shuttle.

When we all see on TV some major aircraft or event happening at Sydney Airport then it happened in Darwin before but it isn't reported.

Last edited by SPQRSPQR; March 24th, 2008 at 12:12 AM. Reason: More info
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Old April 20th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #17
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Photography

Found a site which has Aerial Photography of Darwin today, heaps and heaps of snaps of suburbs, the cbd, the waterfront, natural landforms around Darwin. The link below will open up for a stack of photos taken as late as March 2008.

Many different angles, just click on a photo and it will open in a new screen and then u can view it in a slide show


http://picasaweb.google.com.au/Aroun...roundMarch2008

Alas this photo was saved from this website; (Mark Christie 2008) Piscaweb.google


Last edited by BNE QLD; April 20th, 2008 at 06:14 PM.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #18
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LIKE BEING INSIDE A SPACESHIP

I don't know where to put this as it is an older building.
I was looking at realestate in Darwin for any updated photos of city buildings, sometimes there are some there anyway I found that the top of the Raffles Bldg is for sale at Auction.

This is appartment 52/1 Buffalo Court, it occupies 2 levels of a 11 story building which looks like it would withstand cyclones of the highest category. It happens to look like a spaceship interior though which could be seen as impressive. It has also some good views.

Here is the specs:

A CLASS OF IT'S OWN
Auction 28/06/2008 at 11:00am
52/1 BUFFALO COURT DARWIN
Features: Inground Spa, Ensuite, A/C
52/1 Buffalo Court, Darwin
One of Darwin landmarks, the spaceship on top of Raffles Plaza!!!! This is truly a unique opportunity to purchase this wonderful executive apartment. Situated on the 9th and 10th floors spread over 2 levels in Raffles Plaza Apartments. From the minute you walk through the front doors you will be highly impressed. The open plan gives wonderful use of space, it has class and style.

The gourmet kitchen gives you plenty of cupboards and working space. The view from the floor to ceiling glass windows is truly breath taking, arguably one of the best views in Darwin. The main living floor also includes a pull out guest bed and storeroom with build in shelves.

The main bedroom contains the whole second floor. Uniquely designed, it has utilised the large area with a beauty bench and 2nd bathroom including dual basins. The built in wardrobes and cupboard space will truly impress you. Extending off this level to the roof entertainment area, which includes cushion decking area, with more spectacular views and portable spa.

The apartment is fully air-conditioned. The whole complex has security access and the apartment includes two secure undercover parking plus the complex has a good size pool on the ground level. With a very active Body Corporate this is where you want to live.
Click to Contact Agent Property Summary:
Category: Unit Bedrooms: 1 Bathrooms: 2 Garage: Double Features: Inground Spa, Ensuite, A/C

Views-




Edit: Spa on a lower level of the bldg.

Bathroom-

Bedroom-

Dinning Room -
[IMG]
TV/Living Room-

Kitchen-

One side of the Raffles Darwin Bldg-


SOURCE: REALESTATE.com.au - taken advertised in May/June 2008


To be honest I thought this building looks crappy on the exterior but the interior isn't that bad, it is actually very spacious and has it's own class as the realestate agent has labled it.

Last edited by BNE QLD; February 3rd, 2009 at 04:42 AM. Reason: spa incorrectly depicted as being part of penthouse - actually on lower lvl (my bad)
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:58 AM   #19
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omg it's Effies house!!
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Old June 13th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #20
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Oh my, hehehe love it:
Quote:
Love the trinkets.
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IMO If the movie 'Night at the Roxbury' was converted into an apartment, this is a perfect example.
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